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Saturday, February 24, 2024

This co-op game is perfect for couples – or a break-up

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Badder and funnier than Mario Party? Mary has found a co-op game that’s just as fun as it puts your relationship to the test

Normally, my partner and I don’t play co-op games. It’s not because we don’t like each other, it’s just that we love very different types of games. While I get lost in MMMOs, Japanese role-playing games and dating sims, Timo prefers to play League of Legends or Fortnite.

Every now and then, however, we discover a co-op game that grabs us both. It Takes Two was one such example. Or Remnant From the Ashes. Or Bread and Fred. I discovered the latter while scrolling through Tiktok and was immediately hooked. I mean: penguins beat (almost) everything!

Eternally connected

The game principle is simple: each of us plays a penguin and together we have to climb a mountain. The problem is that we are connected to each other by a very short rope.

You can’t run far or even jump without Timo. Either I’m brought back down to earth by the rope or I drag him straight to his doom. Getting from one platform to the next requires precise timing and coordination. Once we have mastered this, things get more complicated.

Again and again, we have to master a series of well-timed sequences of movements together: one of us sits down on a platform with his fat penguin butt, the other swings around him on the rope until enough momentum is built up to get to the next platform by skillfully standing up and running off.

In the next passage, I have to cling on somewhere so that Timo can reach the other side of the wall. Then I can let go and we can reach the platform again by swinging

(Forever connected
The game principle is simple: each of us plays a penguin and together we have to climb a mountain. The problem is that we are connected to each other by a very short rope.

You can’t run far or even jump without Timo. Either I’m brought back down to earth by the rope or I drag him straight to his doom. Getting from one platform to the next requires precise timing and coordination. Once we have mastered this, things get more complicated.

Again and again, we have to master a series of well-timed sequences of movements together: one of us sits down on a platform with his fat penguin butt, the other swings around him on the rope until enough momentum is built up to get to the next platform by skillfully standing up and running off.

(In the next passage, I have to grab hold of something so that Timo can reach the other side of the wall. Then I can let go and we can reach the platform again by swinging)
(In the next passage, I have to grab hold of something so that Timo can reach the other side of the wall. Then I can let go and we can reach the platform again by swinging)

On three: One, two, … STILL NOT

If we don’t make it, the penguins Bread and Fred fall onto the food board with a melodic “splash” and we have to start again from an earlier point. Depending on how badly we fell.

While we still have real problems with coordination at the beginning, it gets better and better after a few splashes. We can now count down from three together better than ever. This also has a very quick learning effect. Passages that we were really struggling with are easier than ever after the first successful attempts.

(Every time we fail a jump, we end up with our beaks in the snow.)
(Every time we fail a jump, we end up with our beaks in the snow.)

Nonetheless, Bread and Fred is so hard that it’s not described in Steam reviews as the “Dark Souls of couple games” without good reason. Precisely because nobody tells you that you can activate a function in the options to set new starting points

A word of warning

Apropos Steam reviews: While our interaction together on a PC with a keyboard (oldschool co-op!) was very harmonious, many other players make fun of how their relationship became a test of endurance while playing. 

Couch co-op, multiplayer and single player

The best way to play Bread and Fred is like us: together in front of a keyboard. This is the best way to coordinate and avoid delays. Alternatively, you can also play together via Steam Remote Play or go it alone in single player. Then the stone Jeff is your best friend

(Even though Stein Jeff is a really good buddy, the single player doesn't come close to the fun of the co-op.)
(Even though Stein Jeff is a really good buddy, the single player doesn’t come close to the fun of the co-op.)

Tears, break-ups and even divorces are mentioned. Of course, you shouldn’t take the reviews too seriously. Nevertheless, I want to issue a little warning at this point to protect myself from angry emails a la Mary, you destroyed my relationship with your tip!

Bread and Fred can be frustrating as hell because you tend to blame each other. You can take it (like us) with a lot of laughter and humor. Just make sure you don’t put your finger in your partner’s wound.

But if you have a co-op partner (whether it’s your steady partner, your best friend or your neighbor) with whom you can laugh about your mistakes and who isn’t sitting in front of a keyboard for the first time, then Bread and Fred really is a fabulous game for dreary Sundays or evenings.

And look at it this way: If you play through the game together (or at least complete the demo), then there’s probably nothing that can keep you apart.

Stephan
Stephan
Age: 25 Origin: Bulgaria Hobbies: Gaming Profession: Online editor, student

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